Lazuli strikes in Scurry contest

Lazuli made all of the running to claim a cosy victory in the Unibet Scurry Stakes at Sandown.

Second in a strong Newmarket handicap last weekend, Charlie Appleby had no qualms in turning him out again quickly.

Bounced out of the stalls by William Buick, he grabbed the far rail and was well in control at halfway.

Buick was looking around for non-existent dangers on the 15-8 favourite and following a squeeze, he shot clear leaving the others for dust.

Lazuli drifted into the centre of the track close home, but given he was so far clear of Keep Busy – three and a half lengths – it made no difference.

Market rival Sunday Sovereign missed the kick and was always on the back foot, trailing in last while Dream Shot, who had run well on his comeback in Group company, always seemed to be going a stride too fast.

Buick said: “He ran very well at Newmarket last weekend and he was very good today, very quick.

“He gave me a good feel and coming back from six to five now, he will be a good sprinter.

“He would stay six, but he is quick enough for five and you can ride him with that bit more confidence that he will get home.

“For a relatively inexperienced horse, he has a lot of race experience and obviously a lot of speed.

“I thought it was a decent race, I didn’t think it would be easy for him, but he handled it well.

“He had a wind op since he disappointed at the end of last season and obviously it has worked well.

“He’s a three-year-old sprinter, he feels like a proper sprinter and I can only see him improving. I certainly wouldn’t want to set any limits on how high I think he can go.

“Charlie will make a plan, but the programme is pretty tricky for three-year-old sprinters. I think he’s a very nice horse in the making, that’s for sure.”

Rest of Sandown review

Charlie Appleby’s Well Of Wisdom won a hotly-contested Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Handicap Stakes by a short head as Sandown Park hosted racing for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.

It was William Buick’s third victory on the Oasis Dream colt, but it was far from straightforward with a stewards’ inquiry needed after thewinner clashed with Surf Dancer, who in turn connected with the rail and finished fourth.

Well Of Wisdom managed to hold on to victory with the help of a photo finish ahead of the Ralph Beckett-trained Tomfre.

Racing returned to the Esher course with the Unibet Extra Place Offers Every Day EBF Maiden Stakes, but it was slightly delayed due to some trouble at the stalls

Both Fernando Rah and Liberty Bay were withdrawn at the start, leaving Richard Hannon’s Happy Romance to beat two rivals for an easy success/.

Sean Levey said of the 10-11 chance: “It was fairly straightforward once the other two horses came out.

“She was in command from the get-go and she did it convincingly in the end and could be a nice filly going forward.”

On only three runners taking part, the jockey added: “Racing is one of those games where in a lot of areas it doesn’t allow for half measures, so with two (handlers) inevitably it is a lot harder to get horses like that into the stalls.

“Lucky enough, Richard Hannon’s get in the stalls pretty well and we don’t have that issue. It is a downer for the horses that don’t go in, but it’s also one of those things.

“It’s an eye-opener maybe for some people that horses probably need a bit more work at home on that sort of thing without knocking them, but there is no doubt four (handlers) is definitely better than two.

“There will always be horses more difficult than others to get in and with the rule as it is, it is not going to be the greatest thing for them.”

Hannon and Levey were able to double up with victory in the Unibet Casino Deposit £10 Get £40 Bonus Novice Stakes through Manigordo.

The Kitten’s Joy colt showed why he was the 2-11 favourite, despite a strong run from Owen Burrows’ Taawfan.

Levey said: “I think he has done that fairly well. I think you could say the second is a nice horse as well, first time out to finish as close as he did to me.

“He has done everything right today, settled, laid back and done pretty much everything in his stride, so he should be able to run well for the rest of the year.”



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